Meredith Pro Tem |

Meredith Pro Tem

In the wake of Hillary Clinton’s endorsement of Barack Obama in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, an AP-Yahoo! News poll revealed that more people would rather have Obama at their summer cookout than John McCain.

It’s just as well that I wasn’t asked to participate in the survey. Given my preoccupation with next month’s due date and what’s to come, I have no time to plan a barbecue, especially one with a U.S. Senator on the guest list. But if asked which candidate I’d rather have in the delivery room the day I give birth, I just might give that question some serious consideration.

On the one hand, McCain would be a practically ideal helper to any woman during her birthing experience because of the breadth of his know-how ” seven kids at last count. But then again, his first kid was born in 1959 (back when husbands were likely still pacing around the waiting room, puffing away on their celebratory cigars, while their wives were knocked out cold somewhere deep in the recesses of the hospital) and his most recent, born in 1991, was adopted from an orphanage in Bangladesh, so he wasn’t there for the birth. As such, McCain could be a little too rusty to be of any real assistance.

On the other hand, Obama’s daughters were born in 1998 and 2001, so his recollection of the delivery process is probably a whole lot fresher than his opponent’s. That is, if he didn’t suffer any permanent memory damage from his younger days of nose powdering and bong hits. Although he might come in handy when I go into labor, just in case any hippie midwife is hanging around and tries to guilt me into forgoing an epidural for some sort of au naturel experience. Suffice it to

say, I don’t need a guilt trip from someone who can’t remember the 1960s, and I have

a low threshold for pain.

And while McCain would likely set a good example since he heroically endured unending torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and even nobly turned down an early release proposal because those captured before him weren’t being offered the same deal, I think he was a little nuts for doing that. If I have it my way, the only crazy martyr in the delivery room will be me.

Besides, if McCain’s philosophy on how quickly I give birth is at all similar to his view on the Iraq war ” that it would be completely acceptable if I didn’t withdraw the baby for 100 years ” then I’d just as soon he gets nowhere near me and thus has no decision-making powers when I go into labor.

And yet if Obama practices what he preaches, I’d be a little concerned the baby will be forced out before it’s ready, and we might create a disaster area of sorts for an unsuspecting, unlucky maternity ward staffer to clean up. Of course, if my insurance company billed me under Obama’s proposed health-care plan, the whole shebang probably wouldn’t cost me a dime, so at least it would take some of the sting out of leaving behind an embarrassing mess at the hospital.

There are a few other sticking points I’d want to hash out with McCain and Obama before making any sort of final decision on who should join me in the delivery room. Like, if McCain is trying to get people to vote for him to be the leader of the free world yet still freely admits the economy won’t be his strong suit if he gets elected, could I really trust him to time my contractions accurately? And what assurances will I have that some loose-cannon clergyman from Obama’s past won’t try to sneak into the nursery and whisper all sorts of crazy conspiracy-theory nursery rhymes into my

newborn’s ear?

It’s a shame Hillary isn’t still a contender. I’d happily throw a barbecue just so I could invite her. And with her experience taking villages, children and unexpected phone calls at 3 in the morning, she’s welcome in my delivery room any time. I just might ask that she makes Bill and the cigars stay home.

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